Kathy’s Home & Garden Tips – Relieve Stress with Proper Breathing

Several studies have shown that stress is almost a national epidemic. Whether it is work, family, or money problems we all seem to be under more stress than ever. That coupled with the thought that we need to be doing something every moment of the day doesn’t leave any time for rest and de-stressing. Chronic stress can contribute to heart disease and digestive issues. Stress causes shallow breathing rather than deep, relaxed breathing. Meditation along with breathing can really help. YouTube has guided breath work meditation or you can Google classes in your area. Here’s a simple exercise to get you started.

Sit in a chair with support and make sure you’re comfortable. Put your hand on your belly and breathe through your nose for a count of five, filling your belly full of air. Breathe out through your nose till you feel empty. Do this for 3 or 4 more breaths. Practice this exercise twice a day and soon you’ll find yourself breathing better throughout the day. While you do your exercise, imagine an image of peace and calm. While you breathe in, peace flows in, as you breathe out, release all your stress.  

Aroma therapy can be a good addition to your breathing exercises. It is thought essential oils have an effect on your brain and limbic systems and create a feeling of well being. Another effect can be in the hypothalamus, releasing the feel-good chemical serotonin. Lemon, lavender, and oil of bergamot are all essential oils used in aromatherapy.